Winners of the 3rd Annual Helicopter 2050 Challenge!

Congratulations to Vance H., the Grand Prize Winner, and Finalists Elizabeth N., Sabrina C., Eric S., and Erik D.!

Grand Prize Winner: Vance H., Age: 15; Idea: S-2050

The S-2050 helicopter will be a partially autonomous aircraft with a modular build system allowing one main frame to serve many different purposes, decreasing the number of specialized aircraft needed. This system also reduces costs for the consumer by reducing maintenance downtime because of the ability to easily swap out modules allowing the aircraft to continue flying while mechanics repair the broken part. The S-2050 is well suited for humanitarian missions in less developed areas of the world, response to natural disasters and assistance in war zones.

The S-2050 will help overcome global challenges because of its easy-to-use interface; ability to fly autonomously if needed, easy repairability in the field; and ability to run on electricity from the closest source whether it is a power grid, gas or diesel generator, solar panel or its built-in Stirling generator. Its modular setup will also allow it to swap easily between transporting materials, fighting fires, or even working as a mobile medical clinic.

Here are some photos of the winner celebration event held on November 19, 2013 at the Sikorsky headquarters in Stratford, CT. Also, click here to check out the WTNH 8 news report of the event.

Vance Hudson Vance Hudson
Norm Goldstein of By Kids For Kids and Judy Bankowski of Sikorsky present Vance Hudson his Grand Prize check. Larry Levine (Manager Advanced Engineering Applications, Sikorsky), Norm Goldstein (CEO & Founder, By Kids For Kids, Co.), Vance Hudson (Grand Prize Winner), Judy Bankowski (VP & CIO, Sikorsky), and Vern Van Fleet (Chief of Test, International, Sikorsky)


Elizabeth N., Age: 12; Idea: BlueCopter

More than 1 million gallons of oil ends up in oceans every year. The goal of the BlueCopter is to make the sea blue again by cleaning up oil spills and helping animals affected by the oil. It can spray a special polymer-like material that absorbs the oil in water and turns it into gel that can be collected, transported, and turned back into liquid. This copter is made mostly out of recycled glass, Kevlar, aluminum, and carbon fiber, and is fueled by hydrogen. Since the helicopter will mostly be working around water, its rotors, landing gear, and tail boom retract so it can transform into a speedboat.

Sabrina C., Age: 16; Idea: N.U.W.O.R.

In 2050, nuclear power will be a main source of power due to its high efficiency. However, every now and then, an accident is bound to occur, The N.U.W.O.R. (Nuclear Waste Obtainer and Rescuer) will be plated in zeolite, a material known to absorb radiation. This helicopter comes with a radiation detection monitor along with full protection for the operators and will contain two additional kits containing adequate supplies to retrieve and treat found survivors for six days including compounds to purify contaminated water. These helicopters will be able to deliver large amounts of zeolite to absorb the excess radiation, and then the helicopter will be able to reacquire the compound using magnetics and deliver it to a processing plant.

Eric S., Age: 14; Idea: TH-15 HAL

The TH-15 HAL is a large ecofriendly quad rotor designed to fulfill a number of missions. Among these missions are fighting poverty in remote areas, disaster relief, fighting fires, and transporting supplies and personnel too hard to reach areas. Since so many of the challenges facing us in the future involve transporting a variety of loads too hard to reach destinations, the HAL is designed to do just that. The HAL is one hundred feet long and eighty feet wide from pylon tip to pylon. Its four large rotors, each 55 ft. long, sit on the ends of elevated pylons to provide maximum lift. This may sound large, but it is designed to fit inside an American football field or a soccer pitch. In an effort to make the HAL as efficient as possible, the crafts four 15,000 hp. Engines utilize either Hydrogen fuel cells or all electric propulsion, depending on the model. The Hydrogen fuel cells use heat recapture and regeneration to improve to 100% efficiency.

Sikorsky Erik D., Age: 11; Idea: UN-50 Hammerhead

The UN-50 Hammerhead Helicopter (Universal 2050 Hammerhead) will help overcome the challenge of exposed rotor blades and the limitations caused by them, thereby allowing better use of the equipment to help in search and rescue, recovery, fires, and in military situations. By having an encased fan blade system, the helicopter will be able to maneuver into places that the current designs can't. The rotor that powers the aircraft is on the bottom of the belly. The rotor is a big fan that allows the aircraft to fly into tight spaces without a rotor coming in contact with hard objects and breaking off. To make the helicopter move forward, I also put a small tilted jet engine on the tail. that can be either tilted or moved straight, to make the helicopter mvoe forward at much faster speeds. The increased speed will help to make rescue missions easier and faster.

Facilitator Program
Helicopter 2050 Challenge